Many pressing environmental issues were raised by local primary school pupils during Mid Ulster District Council’s first EcoSpeak schools environmental public speaking competition at the Burnavon, Cookstown last week.
The competition aims to increase environmental awareness in young people by allowing them to research and debate current environmental issues. The topic for debate was, “If I were in charge of the Environment Committee I would…”
Issues raised by the pupils included littering, dog foul and energy saving methods, providing those in attendance with much food-for-thought.
Twenty-seven primary schools from across the district participated and presentations were delivered by pupils over two heats judged by a number of Councillors from the Environment Committee, including the Chair, Councillor Christine McFlynn, and staff from Mid Ulster district Council.
Two finalists were selected from each heat. The four finalists were: Lucia Ross, Moneymore PS, Siena Fenton, Bush PS, Rochella McCallan, St Mary’s PS Pomeroy and Kara McCallion, St Mary’s PS Draperstown.
The overall winner of the competition was Kara McCallion who received a trophy and a £300 voucher for her school and all four finalists received a £50 voucher.
Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton attended the event and presented participants with certificates and a ‘green’ goody bag.
Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Christine McFlynn, was really impressed with what she saw at the event.
“I would like to congratulate all the pupils who took part in today’s EcoSpeak environmental public speaking competition. This was the first time the competition has taken place under the new Mid Ulster District Council and it has certainly set the bar very high for subsequent years. The standard of all presentations was excellent and we had a very difficult job selecting our four finalists and overall winner.”
Councillor McFlynn concluded, “Today’s event dealt with and explored environmental issues that affect us all every day. It allowed pupils to research and investigate these issues and as a result increased their awareness of them. Therefore I definitely see the worth in such a competition and am looking forward to it becoming an annual event for the Council.”
For more information contact Mid Ulster District Council on 03000 132 132.